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Strongest Possibility Yet for Life on Jupiter’s Moon Europa

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 Ukshep    20,140

It’s a term that’s used too frequently and too lightly, but in this case it seems more than appropriate: “This could change everything.” ‘This’ is the discovery of tectonic plate movement on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Those plates rubbing together under the moon’s frozen surface could move nutrients from the ice to the ocean believed to be beneath it, providing food to any life forms floating around down there. If life can exist deep underneath Antarctica, why not on Europa?

How do you get from plates moving to life existing? Good question. It starts at Brown University in Rhode Island where Brandon Johnson, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, was trying to figure out how tectonic plates could move without heat. That’s the key ingredient here on Earth where the cold dense plates slide underneath each other into the underlying hot mantle in a process known as subduction. Subduction zones on Earth have high rates of earthquakes and volcanoes that are both products and propagators of the process. The energy created and released may have caused the chemical reactions that sparked life as well as the movements that stirred the waters and fed it nutrients.


Interesting piece of non-doom. It's nice to talk about life! It does not happen enough!

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